Update March 15, 2022, at 2:20 PM ET: Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc told The Register that the promo banner in question has been turned off and wasn't meant to be externally published.
What you need to know
- As is the whole point of the Insider program, Microsoft is currently testing out a new inclusion within it.
- Windows 11 Insiders may see a small self-promotion banner inside of File Explorer that points to various Microsoft products.
- In our independent test, we could not see this banner, implying the inclusion is being A/B tested.
If you're not a fan of self-promotion and can't stand it in your Windows experience, you may want to sit down for what comes next: There's been a sighting of self-promo in File Explorer.
As spotted by a Windows Insider MVP on Twitter, some Windows 11 Insiders may see a banner inside File Explorer raising awareness about Microsoft Editor. The exact text you may see is: "Write with confidence across documents, email, and the web with advanced writing suggestions from Microsoft Editor."
Some people will go mad if Microsoft starts adding ads in explorer. pic.twitter.com/rusnyrYyX2Some people will go mad if Microsoft starts adding ads in explorer. pic.twitter.com/rusnyrYyX2— Florian (@flobo09) March 12, 2022March 12, 2022
We could not see the new File Explorer banner ourselves, which implies this little addition is being A/B tested and that not everyone will see it in their build. Still, if you do see it and aren't happy with the idea of various Microsoft services and products being promoted within your Microsoft services and products, get on the Insider feedback app and voice your thoughts. That's what these test builds are largely about, after all: Gauging community reactions and pivoting where appropriate.
There's no guarantee the promo banner will ever leave the testing phase, or that feedback against it will have any impact. It's a world of unknowns. The only certainty is that the vocal population on Twitter is not happy (just see the replies to the above tweet for evidence of that claim). One tweeter mentioned they saw a promotion for PowerPoint templates.
For other news relating to File Explorer, check out our hands-on with Windows 11 build 22572.
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Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.